(HealthDay News) – Occupational therapy focused on sensory integration strategies helps children with autism spectrum disorder and sensory issues improve their ability to perform everyday tasks, according to a study published online Nov. 10 in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.
Roseann C. Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, and colleagues randomized children with autism (aged 4–8 years) to either a manualized intervention (30 sessions of the occupational therapy; 17 patients) or usual care (control group; 15 patients).
The researchers found that the children in the intervention group scored significantly higher (P=0.003) on the primary outcome of Goal Attainment Scales. Additionally, the intervention group scored significantly better on measures of caregiver assistance in self-care (P=0.008) and socialization (P=0.04), compared to the control group.
“The study shows high rigor in its measurement of treatment fidelity and use of a manualized protocol, and provides support for the use of this intervention for children with autism,” the authors write.